How to Get Rid of Sow Thistle in My Yard


Sow thistles are vigorous weeds that resemble the common dandelion. While dandelions only have leaves at the base and feature one flower per plant, sow thistles feature leaves up the stalk of the plant and have multiple blooms per plant. The leaves are scalloped, long and green. The flowers are bright yellow and the seeds are attached to long hairs that blow through the wind, much like a dandelion puff. Ridding your yard of these unwanted invaders may take some persistence but the right timing and and effective herbicide will ensure that you are successful.

Things You'll Need

  • 2% glyphosate solution
  • Garden sprayer

Spray sow thistle in the fall, right before the first frost. Ideally, the plants will be in the budding stage when sprayed.

Place your glyphosate solution into your garden sprayer. Be sure to use gloves so that your hands are protected.

Spray all of the sow thistle plants in your yard or garden with the glyphosate solution. Glyphosate is a selective herbicide that will not kill your grass. Once it has been applied, grazing animals, pets and children should avoid the area for a full two months. Glyphosate is a penetrating herbicide, meaning it will be absorbed into the stems and roots of the weeds, killing them where they start.

Spray any sow thistle plants when they first emerge in the spring. While your fall spraying will take care of the bulk of the weeds, the spring spraying will finish the job.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your lawn well maintained and fertilized so that your grass is strong enough to resist sow thistle in the future.

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